2017 Laelaps Wine The Rocks Cabernet sauvignon

2017 Laelaps Wine The Rocks Cabernet sauvignon

Seven Hills West Vineyard,
The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater,
Walla Walla Valley,
Oregon

14.3% alcohol

Empty bottle weight: 22.2 ounces // 630 grams

Cork closure 

75 cases produced

Aptly named, The Rocks District in Milton-Freewater is a tiny, nested AVA within the larger Walla Walla Valley appellation. Approved in 2015 by the TTB, short for Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau, it’s currently the only AVA in the United States with a single soil type– Freewater Series– and a single landform– alluvial fan. Less than 6 square miles in size, there are only 472 acres planted in grapes, mostly Syrah, Cabernet sauvignon and Grenache.

As you can see in my photo below, irregular river rock-type stone litters the soil in what Northwest wine folks call “The Rocks.” Not only do these rocks absorb and then radiate their solar heat, which helps the grapes mature and ripen… they are also known as ankle-breakers! The vineyard workers and grape pickers need to work more slowly and carefully, watching every step as they traverse the rows of grapevines. And just imagine how hard it is to dig the holes when planting the grapevines in the first place!

Stony ground found in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater

These Cab grapes were handpicked from the Seven Hills West Vineyard near the end of October and then cold-soaked in the winery for 4 days. Fermentation occurred over a 2-week period, after which all the juice was barreled for 22 months, two-thirds in new French oak with the skins (also called sur lie). Allowing some of the wine to age with the skins is a great tool in the winemaker’s toolkit. Not only does it allow for additional color and flavor extraction, but also creates a more integrated tannin structure, making this wine a great one to enjoy now or age in your cellar for another decade.

Color:

Brick red

Bouquet:

Violets // cherry cola // maple syrup // cherry pie // rosemary // black cherries

Palate:

Mulberries // sour cherries // bright acidity // blueberries // violets // cocoa powder // rosemary // well-integrated tannins

Food pairing suggestions:

Grilled vegetables and chicken // black bean and sweet potato chili // sous vide flat iron steak

Scoop up this wine deal by ordering here:

SRP $50

www.laelapswine.com

Be sure to tell us how you like it in the comments!

Don’t miss our tasting notes on another Laelaps Wine:

2013 Laelaps Wine Pinot noir

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About the Author: Michele Francisco